REHAU has been celebrating its 50 years of REHAU RAUKANTEX globally, which is an uPVC edgebands solution. On this occasion, The Ply Reporter spoke to Ms. Bhavana Bindra, Managing Director, REHAU South Asia, who has an ambitious plan to cater to the retail market demand. She says that RAUKANTEX edgebands have been a preferred solution for quality conscious OEMs, distributors, retailers, and specifiers.Company has combined all retail products under one category and will promote it as a package to retail/carpenter segment. Another key focus area will be enhancing its distribution network to smaller Tier-II & III cities.
REHAU is celebrating its 50 years of establishment. What is your message to trade people?
I am delighted to share that we have completed 50 years of REHAU RAUKANTEX globally, which is an uPVC edgebands solution. With RAUKANTEX, we brought in the German engineering to India which blends aesthetically with all kinds of furniture and are a perfect solution for kitchen cabinets, cupboards, table edges and countertops for offices. It won’t be wrong if I say that RAUKANTEX is the future of edgebands in India as, with, RAUKANTEX uPVC edgebands you can do almost everything from creating stunning furniture and interiors with solid colors and decorative designs to glass effect, metal effect, translucent and 3D looks. RAUKANTEX edgebands have been a preferred solution for quality-conscious OEMs, distributors, retailers, and specifiers. In this journey of success our trade partners have played a vital role and the entire team at REHAU is pleased to receive such immense support and reliability from the industry
How has been the growth story in India for REHAU?
REHAU is the most preferred choice for edgebands in India. In these last two decades, we have seen immense acceptability among our customers, which motivated us to expand our horizon from being an edgeband supplier to a complete FURNITURE SOLUTIONS company. REHAU started its India journey in the year 1997 and today REHAU has three plants across the country. Initially, the focus was to cater to B2B section of the market and with all the new range of FURNITURE SOLUTION products, REHAU has plans of entering the core retail market in India and move from being just a b2b to also being b2b2c brand.
How do you evaluate the impact of Covid on REHAU India business operation in 2020 and 2021?
Like all businesses, REHAU has also been impacted with COVID implications in the year 2020 as well as during the second wave in 2021. As we move closer to the end of the year, we are observing positive market sentiments and the businesses are expected to boost in coming months. With continues support from our partners, we expect to register remarkable growth.
What changes do you observe in customer behaviour post Covid period? And how will this impact your business verticals?
The work from home phenomenon has impacted consumer behaviour greatly; people are now giving major impetus to interior solutions focusing more on storage and utility. Also, demand for office furniture has risen incredibly since the onset of COVID-19. Since, REHAU furniture product offerings mainly caters to interior solutions. Thus, there is a demand shift compare to pre Covid times. However, there are sections which have seen damper days considering the fact that majority of the people have seen a cut in their pay which has directly affected their purchasing power. Having said that, we believe in coming months all the industries shall pick up again and not only FURNITURE SOLUTIONS but all other business verticals of REHAU i.e INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS and BUILDING SOLUTIONS will see a positive business trend.
PVC products have been facing challenges due to the high jump in prices of its raw materials, how do you see this situation?, and when will the scenario improve?
The market runs by the simple rule of economics, when supply exceeds demand, prices fall. When demand exceeds supply, prices tend to rise. Thus, as the demand of raw material is higher than its supply, the prices of PVC products are increasing every day. Looking at the current trend, the instability in raw material supply is going to remain the same for another few months.
What are your future business plans, and how do you cater?
REHAU plays a very important role in modernizing the furniture industry. The company plans to continue to do the same with its innovative product. REHAU is also increasing its portfolio by maximizing its offering to furniture industry as One – Stop – Solution. We will continue to partner with quality players at global as well local level and will cater to specific business requirements. REHAU is also focusing to expand the Third Rail business which will be catering to the various Metro Projects upcoming across several cities in the country. The third rail metro rail system in Kolkata uses REHAU third rail system.
How do you cater to more retail demands; there is a big scope of growth for the company?
REHAU has started to produce various ranges of products to portray itself as a one-stop-solution for all furniture needs. The company has come up with this initiative with the single thought of entering the retail market. From inception, we have focused on B2B segment and currently planning to explore the B2C segment. REHAU has categorized sales team as per various customer segments. The company has separate team for Retail & OEM to cater carpenter / OEMs segment. Additionally we are looking to provide bundled offerings in retail category and will promote it as a package to retail / carpenter segment. Another key focus area will be enhancing our distribution network to smaller Tier-II & III cities.
Any new products, capacity addition, display etc are on card in the year 2021-22?
REHAU stands for Innovation. We have already doubled our capacity in the last three years. We are adding production lines as well as enhancing efficiency / productivity from existing lines to meet the increasing demand in future.
How do you see India’s Furniture and Real estate business?
In the last five years, furniture industry have seen major shift from being an un-organized to organized industry. The segment of customers catering to traditional carpenter driven furniture has shifted their interest more towards modular furniture. We believe that with the economic surge and increase in purchasing power of the customers, all three segment of the furniture industry (Office / Kitchen & Living Space) will see a drastic increase in demand. The upcoming 10-15 years will be glorious years for the furniture industry with much more investment.
The Government policies around affordable housing and directing financial institutions to lower interest rate below 7% with interest subsidy, is going to be beneficial in the revival of the Real Estate industry. The maximum demand for affordable housing will be from smaller towns while demand for niche segment will be majorly in Tier-I cities.
Which product is close to your heart among the entire Rehau Range and why?
REHAU entered the FURNITURE SOLUTIONS industry with edgebands and recently the brand RAUKANTEX edgebands completed 50 years globally. Thus the edgebands has to be the product that is certainly close to my heart. It has been a rewarding experience for not just the RAUKANTEX brand but also for its users as these edgebands lend amazing aesthetics to furniture. Also, the zero-joint technology (available under the RAUKANTEX Pro range) offers a polymerbased, colour-matched functional layer even on the reverse side for a visually seamless look. Class and functionality are the key elements that make your furniture stand out and above the rest. So, whether it is the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or living area, RAUKANTEX edgebands offer some spectacular interior designing ideas with unbeatable functionality.